Anti-capitalist protester goes ballistic after being refused A&E freebie

Mitchell swore at hospital staff after being told police cars and ambulances were not free taxis

AN ANTI-CAPITALIST demonstrator caused havoc in a hospital A&E department after being refused a free taxi ride home.

Zion Mitchell shouted, swore at and threatened staff who had earlier treated him for a facial injury following a night of heavy drinking.

Police were called to accident and emergency at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the 23-year-old was told the NHS and the police were not a free taxi service.

Mitchell, who stays at the ‘People’s Café’ occupation in Edinburgh’s Bristo Place, had been admitted to the hospital on 9 December 2011 for treatment of a minor facial injury.

Edinburgh sheriff court heard today he prevented staff from tending to other patients as he became aggressive when being discharged the following morning.

Appearing at the court today, he admitted a breach of the peace.

Fiscal depute Pauline Shade said: “Staff were advised the accused was fit for release.


“Two members of staff approached the accused and said he had to leave as there was nothing wrong with him.”

She said he pretended to be asleep when asked to leave at first.

She continued: “He did eventually get up and was escorted to the reception area of the hospital.

“After a few minutes he returned, he was verbally aggressive to staff and security.

“Two nurses who had dealt with the accused earlier came to the reception and tried to calm him down. They were unable to do that.

“He said he was only going to leave if he was given a free lift home.”

She said he was ‘flailing his arms around in an aggressive manner.’

Staff then called the police, and Mitchell said he would not leave unless he was arrested.

She said: “It was mentioned the hospital and Lothian and Borders Police were not a free taxi service. He again challenged police to arrest him.”

His defence agent Rachel Eady said he had been drinking straight whisky the night before, and had been punched in the face.

She said he was told by someone at the scene he would get a free taxi home at the hospital, and that was the only reason he went there.

She added: “He was heavily intoxicated and was still very drunk when these events took place.

“He stayed inBristo Placeas part of the Occupy movement at the People’s Cafe

Mitchell, originally from Buckhaven in Fife, suffered from depression, she added.

She said: “He lost his temper and that is the only reason he acted as he did.

“When he was staying with the occupy movement he was off his medication.”

“He displayed a high level of remorse for his actions.

“He realises he was taking up valuable time for other patients.”

Sheriff Kenneth MacIver deferred sentence until later this month.